Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards

2019 Finalists


Heather & Christopher Chong Outstanding Achiever Award:

Dr Peta Cook of Hobart is improving the lives of older Australians. At Junction Arts Festival, she informed the development of site-specific installation artworks to challenge ageism. She led an age-friendly project in the City of Clarence and provided expertise in grant writing and policy development to the Council on the Ageing, Tasmania. She also designed and co-led COTA Tasmania’s ‘Ageing My Way’ project. She is the course coordinator of the Bachelor of Ageing and Dementia Studies at University of Tasmania. Peta volunteers for the Australian Sociological Association and has contributed to the international Health Sociology Review. She received the 2018 UTAS Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement.

Don McCrae of New Town has tirelessly supported those without a voice. Don is a founding member of JusTas, an organisation that seeks to promote justice, best practice and valuable outcomes for the community and returning citizens. He is a member of organisations such as the Shelter Tasmania board, Housing with Dignity, Greater Hobart Homelessness Alliance, Breaking the Cycle/Throughcare Reference Group and Glenorchy City Council Safer Communities Advisory Reference Group. He is an accredited suicide awareness trainer and a Research Officer/Presenter with the domestic violence program “Start Today Again.” He supports the Salvation Army Supporting Housing/Housing Connect and the Street To Home – Primary Homelessness Outreach Service.

Kristen Desmond of Prospect Vale has helped transform Tasmania’s disability education system. Kristen founded the Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby to advocate for review of the Tasmanian Disability Education system. She led rallies in Launceston and Hobart calling on the Government to initiate a review of the experience of students with a disability. She was part of the Inclusion Advisory Panel – Disability Focus from 2016 to 2019. Her work resulted in the Government agreeing to implement a needs-based funding model from 2020. In late 2018, the Government signed an education partnership agreement for funding of $490,000 for students with a disability and trauma in Tasmanian schools.

Andrew Smith of Lewisham champions the preservation of wildlife and cultural heritage. Andrew founded Wildcare Inc., a charity that encourages, supports, and provides a pathway for volunteering with the Parks and Wildlife Service, Natural and Cultural Heritage Division. For twenty years, he has led significant changes in Parks and Wildlife Service through policy development and has raised over four million dollars to support reserve management. Andrew established the Friends of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Inc. He is a founding member of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation Inc. and was National Chair of the Australian Association of National Park Support Groups for two years.


Ricoh Business Centre Hobart Community Group of the Year Award:

Central Highlands Tasmania Wildlife Group of North Hobart inspired a community to save wildlife. The group was set up in February 2019 to assist, coordinate and publicise efforts by a group of volunteers who help displaced, injured or starving wildlife which were affected by the January 2019 bushfires. The volunteers go out under all circumstances to feed the wildlife. Following a successful fundraiser by Elleke Leurs of $20,000 for Wildlife Bush Babies & Snake Rescue Tasmania, Robyn Lewis and a team of local residents organised all work and future funding involving Central Highlands. To date, they have raised over $7,000 in cash and $10,000 in-kind from businesses and private individuals.

The Bee Book Authors of Geilston Bay was created by young people from the Goodwood community after the death of Fred House, a local hero known for his 93-year beekeeping career. In July 2017, on what would have been Fred’s 100th birthday, an initial school holiday workshop focused on bee education was held at the Community Centre and wrote and published ‘The Bee Book’ a fact book about bees. They launched ‘Bee Friendly Garden Grants’, allocating half the funds raised from book sales to provide $200 to community gardens to develop Bee Friendly garden elements. They established ‘Bee Literate Tasmania’ as a brand to promote bee education initiatives.

West Moonah Community House and Rotary Club of Sullivan's Cove of West Moonah have developed alternative learning methods for the community. Together, they have collaborated to create the Road Rules Education Project, in partnership with agencies including the Department of State Growth, Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania, Rotary International and Schools and Welfare Agencies. The project provides for the needs of recently arrived refugees who were having major issues to learn and understand the road rules in order to pass the L1 Theory Test. Now also open to Tasmanians with literacy and learning issues, they offer an alternative way of learning and passing the test using written, auditory, kinaesthetic and visual methods through videos.

The Headstone Project (Inc.) TAS of New Town believes that ‘no veteran should be written off’. The Headstone Project is run by a small group of nine volunteers and twenty-five financial members who came together after finding out that there were First World War veterans lying in unmarked graves at Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart and around Tasmania. The Headstone Project aims to ensure that these men are commemorated in an appropriate way at their point of burial by providing a simple pedestal headstone and a plaque. They have secured grants from the Federal and State Governments and have so far honoured and held service for 425 First World Veterans.


MAIB Disability Achievement Award:

Mark Lesek of Moonah is passionate about helping others who have lost limbs, since he became an amputee as a result of a road accident. He explored ways to regain his function, from developing his own prosthetics to eventually having osseointegration, a surgical procedure to connect a prosthesis directly into the end of a residual limb. Mark is the first Australian to have arm osseointegration and one of a selected few to have Targeted Muscle Innervation, where the amputated nerves are transferred to activate the remaining muscles. He is now an inspirational public speaker who encourages others towards the path of osseointegration.

Dr Emmanuelle Bostock of Hobart has made unique contributions to the scientific community. Emmanuel lives with complex mental illness which makes simple tasks challenging. She is a member of the Mental Health Council and the Tasmanian representative of the Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders where she contributes conference calls and newsletters for national distribution. Emmanuelle completed her PhD at University of Tasmania where she received the Australian post-graduate awards and the Goddard Sapin Jaloustre Trust which allowed her to take a summer-school course in France. She has also co-authored five publications in medical journals, influencing further research into the nature of bipolar disorder.

Christopher Symonds of Wynyard is an outstanding parasailing athlete. Chris is the Vice President of the Board of North West Support Services, Board Member of Motor Neuron Disease Tasmania, Vice President of Sailability Tasmania and Secretary of the Wynyard Yacht Club. He is the Tasmanian representative of Australian Hansa Class Association. Chris has Kennedy’s Disease that led to his retirement. Despite declining mobility and strength, Chris refurbished three vintage caravans and mentored high school students. He won the 2016 and 2018 World Sailing Championships, the 2019 Waratah Wynyard Council Australia Day Awards Citizen of the Year and he belongs to the Hall of Fame Yachting Tasmania.

Patrick Rosevear of Rosevears is passionate about agriculture and community volunteerism. Although diagnosed with autism, Patrick is a committee member and volunteer worker for Rural Youth Tasmania since July 2018 and AGFEST, a three-day event showcasing rural businesses. He is a member of the AGFEST Organising Committee which meets once a month to arrange the program. Patrick is the Junior Vice President of the Tamar Branch of Rural Youth and encourages younger community members to take leadership roles. He is currently a Year 11 student studying a Certificate II in Agricultural Studies and has completed the Emerging Leaders short course conducted by UTAS.


Prime Super Business Achievement Award:

Sealasash Window Renewal System Pty Ltd of Moonah started in Hobart with a $14 tip shop window. Sealasash sensitively upgrade old wooden windows and doors, combining traditional carpentry skills with modern materials to offer a one-stop shop that didn’t exist in Tasmania or the mainland. They protect heritage features whilst improving energy efficiency and comfort, and reducing waste to landfill. Sealasash developed a world patent-pending system called ‘Sash Crab’, which allows for safe work without scaffold on high windows. They employ 22 people and have expanded to NSW, VIC and WA. They have experienced 20% growth in the last three years and have an annual revenue of $2.8 million.

Australian Honey Products Pty Ltd of Launceston is passionate about the honey business. They are a family owned supplier of honey products to Australian and international markets. Owner and Master Beekeeper Lindsay Bourke returned to beekeeping at the age of 60 with only 90 hives. Since then, it has grown to over 4,000 hives, making them the largest honey producer in Tasmania. In 2015, they obtained a government grant to build a new processing facility. Part of the grant was to start a Trainee Beekeeper Program in partnership with TAFE Tasmania. They won 2016 National Agribusiness Exporter of the Year. In 2018, their total export sales exceed $800,000.

Josh’s Wash and Walk of Prospect is determined to succeed. Josh’s Wash and Walk was founded in 2016 by Joshua Wyley, a young man with autism, who realised that employment opportunities were very limited. Offering car washing and detailing, dog walking and wheelie bin cleaning, Josh developed the business to be an active member of the community whilst gaining financial independence. Bookings are made via a Facebook page and they travel to the customer and provide all materials needed. The business also promotes the capabilities of those living with a disability. Josh recently attended the We Can program and helped others to develop business ideas.

East Coast Cruises strives to enhance client-focused services. Founded in 2010 by Marine Biologist Michael Davis, East Coast Cruises is a privately-owned business that offers a unique “cruise + walk” eco-experience to Maria Island National Park and Ile Des Phoques National Park. From operating a ferry business, they have grown to offering tours and shuttle services from Hobart to Maria Island and employ nine staff. They have received three Great Eastern Driver awards, a Gold and Silver in the quarterly “Tourism Industry Council Tasmania – People’s Choice Awards” in the East Coast Region and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for seven consecutive years.


Get Moving Tasmania Physical Activity Award:

Womensport & Recreation Tasmania Inc. of Cornelian Bay have been running the Get Active Program (GAP) since 2004 and delivering to over 3,000 participants. GAP provides evidence-based intervention to increase health literacy and achieve longer-term change in levels of physical activity. Last financial year, GAP delivered 20 programs state-wide to groups including disengaged youth, at-risk teenagers, women’s shelter residents and mental health rehabilitation clients. Programs consist of a series of 2-hour workshops on goal setting, motivation, stress management, self-esteem, nutrition, and fun physical activities. 68% of participants increased their physical activity and 93% indicated that they now make more informed healthier diet choices and felt more connected to community.

Tasmanian All Schools Mountain Bike Championships of Underwood was initiated by Adrian Cooper five years ago. An annual event, it is currently the largest single day Mountain Bike event in the State and one of the largest in the Country. The one day Cross Country (lap) style race is run on easier tracks to be more accessible for beginner racers and is open to all Tasmanian High School or College students. Adrian liaised with Mountain Bike Australia to offer a mass participation insurance coverage and along with a State Government grant, he could reduce costs to riders to $10. Adrian also offers a travel subsidy for some schools.

Risdon Vale Bike Collective of Risdon Vale operates around the context of restoring, selling and riding bikes. They work with young people from Risdon Vale to increase social cohesion, work readiness skills and recreational opportunities, providing a place for them to grow in character and life skills. This occurs through two workshop sessions each week during school terms with up to 30 participants aged from 10 to 18. They also run regular ride days and multi-day Mountain biking camps to participants each year. In the past two years, over 60 young people have participated in all aspects of the program, completing 4,000 hours of learning and development.

Surf Life Saving Tasmania of Hobart run a 'Starfish Nippers Come and Try Program’ as part their Special Needs Inclusion Strategy. The program enables young people aged 0-25 with various disabilities to swim, catch waves, undertake beach runs and exercises just like other surf lifesavers do. The 'Starfish Nippers Come and Try Program' gives 20 surf lifesaving volunteers, 16 children with disabilities and their families the opportunity to meet new friends and connect in a relaxed environment, whilst building confidence in the beach environment through physical activity. The program would not be possible without the local community members who volunteers as a 'Lifesaver Buddy' to each participant.


EPA Sustainability Award:

Lion Dairy & Drinks of Lenah Valley is committed to waste reduction and cleaner production. Operating a fresh milk processing facility they currently dispose of industrial wastewater generated from the site, to sewer under a Trade Waste Water Agreement with TasWater. Over the past five years, the site has achieved a 50% reduction in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) concentration amid increasing production. Lion Dairy & Drinks are dedicated to cleaner production projects, a targeted focus on overfill and process control. They have introduced waste management initiatives such as establishing relationships with local pig farmers to take waste milk products and offering community groups viable products with minor imperfections.

Southern Waste Solutions of New Town is helping reduce the risk of waste spill in transit. SWS constructed Tasmania’s only category C landfill cell at Copping, allowing the safe and secure containment of hazardous material often previously shipped interstate to less secure facilities or stored in suboptimal conditions. Designed with the capacity to accept material state-wide and from Antarctica, the facility has helped reduce pollution and carbon footprint and improve the health of current and future generations of Tasmanians. Since November 2018, SWS has accepted over 2,000 tonnes of contaminated material. They overcame community opposition to construct the landfill cell by undertaking more public awareness measures.

Hobart Airport of Cambridge advocates for improved waste management practices. With an aim to increase the diversion of waste to landfill by more than 25%, Hobart Airport developed a waste management strategy in May 2018 with a goal of understanding waste streaming. In February 2019, a three-stream waste segregation initiative was introduced in the Departures area following months of research. The three streams were Landfill, Co-Mingled Recycling and Organics and required the installation of new bin systems whic provide clear directions on waste segregation for passengers and visitors. After extensive consultation, major food and beverage outlets have commenced segregation and transition to compostable packing.

Salamanca Market of Hobart is focused on waste management. The City of Hobart operates Salamanca Market which is Tasmania’s most visited tourist attraction, with 950,000 visitors annually. With one tonne of waste produced weekly, they took the opportunity to become environmentally sustainable and engaged JustWASTE Consulting to perform three waste audits. The audit report inspired a waste project ‘Action Against Plastic’ with a view to transitioning stallholder packaging to compostable and introducing an onsite organic waste stream. The ‘Swap n’ Go’ program allows stallholders to swap plastic bags in exchange for paper bags and compostable bags. In June 2019, Salamanca Market became single-use plastic bag free.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award:

Glenview Community Services Inc of Glenorchy believes staff and volunteers are their greatest asset. For more than 70 years, Glenview has provided high quality residential and cottage respite care, day centre for seniors and home care services. Glenview’s organisational structure consists of two service delivery and two support services. The structure facilitates open and transparent communication across the organisation and ensures the best outcome for residents, clients and staff. Their 172 employees undergo training upon completing a Personal Career Development Plan document. Staff have input in their personal rosters and Glenview allows staff to take study leave for those wanting to further their knowledge and skills.

Huon Regional Care of Nubeena is dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing of its staff. Established in 1969, they are a community-based charity organisation providing aged care and rural health services. With nearly 300 employees, they provide southern Tasmanian regional communities with high quality health care, focused on aged health and home and residential care. Staff enjoy flexible working hours, generous personal leave entitlements and an annual free flu vaccination program. They offer extensive training and development programs such as a graduate program for registered nurses. Other initiatives include HERC Enrolled Nursing Training Program and a UTAS Partnership to support employees in specified clinical tertiary education.

South Eastern Community Care of Sorell is committed to providing employment in a regional centre. SEC Care is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1970 by founding members who understood that a community is only strong if everyone is supported. They have three Day Centres and employ over 160 staff who support over 1,100 people to live independently in Southern Tasmania. Many staff are parents, guardians or carers and semi-retired individuals. All have access to flexible working conditions and learning and up-skilling opportunities. Each year, SEC Care creates a Relay for Life team to raise money for the Cancer Council of Tasmania whilst providing bonding opportunity for staff.

Emmerton Park of Smithton gives utmost importance to career progression and employee wellbeing. Formed in 1969. Emmerton Park is not-for-profit community-based, fully accredited 61-bed residential aged care facility, with 73 independent living units across three sites and home-based care services within the Municipality of Circular Head. Their 102 staff enjoy a culture of learning and pathways for career development. Two staff are currently undertaking Bachelor of Nursing Studies through James Cook University, utilising the Nurse Scholarship Program. Other benefits include extensive staff training on equipment, fire, mental health first aid, advanced care planning, dementia awareness and palliative care. A Counsellor is also available for staff.


Betta Milk ‘Make It Betta’ Health Achievement Award:

HealthLit4Kids, University of Tasmania of Kingston Beach is an education package designed for use in schools to raise awareness of health literacy and prompt discussions about health amongst teachers, children, families and communities. They support positive health and educational outcomes for children and works towards reducing health inequities for Tasmanian families. The team includes a pharmacist, nurses, sociologist, arts educator and university lecturers in health and physical education. HealthLit4Kids currently has 150 Community of Practice members, 5 schools registered for the next phase and are currently developing ways to offer the program to more Tasmanian communities. They won the Bond University’s 2018 Health Literacy Sustainable Healthcare Award.

Rural Alive and Well Inc. of Oatlands advocates for reducing stigma about mental health. RAW is a not-for-profit organisation that works with rural Tasmanian communities to create resilient and capacity of individuals, families and community, to react to challenging life experiences with a particular emphasis on suicide prevention, mental health and wellbeing. RAW’s outreach program goes to the individuals wherever they feel comfortable to chat. They provide courses for communities and businesses such as Mental Health First Aid courses for 65-year-olds, suicidal persons and non-suicidal self-injury. Their community-led project “Looking Out for Each Other” aims to remind us all that a close-knit community helps cope with stress.

TASMEN of Rosny Park is committed to improving men’s mental health. Tasmanian Men’s Health & Wellbeing Association Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation that helps men 18 to 80 years of age take responsibility for their lives, their personal growth and relationships using a peer-to-peer model of experiential learning. Their work encompasses the annual Tasmanian Men’s Gathering, creating Men’s Groups, running an email conversations’ list and conducting regular Men’s Circles to provide on-going support. In 2018, they produced ‘Men with Heart,’ a photo and video installation with images telling a story of men supporting each other. TASMEN won the 2019 Tasmanian Men’s Health Awards.

Jade Munnings of Magra is dedicated to improving the health and life of the homeless. Jade is the Tenancy and Finance Manager for Salvation Army Housing Common Ground site in Hobart. He established Coffee Ground, a social enterprise concept designed to provide training, employment, social inclusion and support for people experiencing homelessness or were formally homeless by creating a sustainable revenue stream. Jade applied for grants from The Mercy Foundation and Hobart City Council and gained $60,000 in seed funding. He organised the Common Ground Cup golf day which raised $12,000, part of which went to paying a TasTAFE Barista Course for 10 homeless tenants.


Fonterra Australia Agriculture Award:

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association of Launceston has for over 70 years strived to maximise the potential and success of their members’ businesses through influential advocacy, strong and credible leadership, and the promotion of innovative solutions. Some achievements include rallying for government funding for the Powranna truck wash facility and introducing an online market place for buying and selling feed and fodder. They delivered the AgriSkills Project to revitalise skills and training and assisted King Island farmers in finding a workable solution for shipping and freight services. A request for coordinated weed management resulted in a government commitment for a $5 million Weed Action Fund.

Tasmanian Women in Agriculture of Trevallyn has been helping women in agriculture realise their full potential. Formed in 1994, they are a voluntary organisation with state-wide membership providing opportunities for women to broaden their professional careers through training and scholarship. They offer mini grants to establish new ventures or events, offer mental health training and first aid courses and provide advocacy on issues facing women in the sector. Opportunities to connect through regional groups, farm gatherings and farmgate tours are also available. Their Pathways to Commercialisation program assists women in establishing small businesses in Northern Tasmania. They are currently working on a sexual harassment industry survey.

Huon Producers' Network of Cradoc is committed to building a stronger local food economy. The network is a member-based organisation comprising food producers, consumers and supporters, with an aim of supporting small farms and businesses with training programs, advocacy, networking events and providing access to markets. HPN operates a weekly farmer’s market stall which allows producers of all sizes to offer their goods in a low cost, low risk environment, resulting in better access to farm direct food. HPN holds two to four training sessions annually and helps upskill those new to farming and food production whilst introducing new ideas to those experienced in the industry.

Sally Bound of New Town is an advocate of Australia’s food industries. A researcher at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, she provides technical information and advice to orchardists and industry groups throughout Australia. She regularly conducts workshops, seminars, orchard walks and training courses to help industry members make the most of the cutting-edge horticultural research. Sally has authored over 70 articles for industry magazines and regularly contributes to apple, pear and cherry production guides. In 2010, she received the BioNova Travel Award for a scientific exchange to visit Acadian Sea Plants in Nova Scotia. Sally won the 2018 Apple and Pear Australia Limited Industry Excellence Award.


University of Tasmania Teaching Excellence Award:

Casey-Rae McCrickard of Lenah Valley has a strong passion for helping others. Casey-Rae works at The Friends’ School where she teaches Dance along with Humanities. She built the Dance Program from 16 students to 200. Her students worked with Mature Artist Dance Experience to choreograph and stage a community show and engage with 50-year-old Hobart locals. In her pastoral care role, she worked with a student with Oppositional Defiant Disorder for three years. A graduate of UTAS, Casey-Rae was appointed Year 10 Coordinator after just two years of teaching. She mentors new teachers and has a blog called ‘Survival to Thrival: A guide for beginning teachers’.

Thomas Coad of Tranmere firmly believes that science can take you anywhere. Thomas teaches science and mathematics to grades 7 to 10 at Rose Bay High School. He participated in a 10-day scientific voyage aboard RVInvestigator for a Marine National Facility initiative entitled “Educator on Board” and made video calls to provide students a glimpse of science in action. Thomas is the elected President of RoboCup Junior Tasmania and orchestrated the RoboCup Junior Regional Competition. He has a Master of Antarctic Science and Bachelor of Marine Science degrees. Thomas completed his Master of Teaching degree receiving the John Andrew Johnson Memorial prize and graduating Valedictorian.

Kara Spence of Fern Tree believes that nature connection can rearrange classrooms. Kara has been a practising teacher for 15 years. Her program called “Risky Play Nature’s Way” uses outdoor and nature play-based learning and an increased use of students’ voice to augment teaching and learning outcomes in classrooms. In 2017, she self-funded professional learning, attending the Children and Nature Network Conference in Canada. In 2018, she completed her Level 3 in Forest School, UK and became a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide. In 2019, Kara started working as a Nature Play Specialist and is consultant and the Founding Director of ‘Nature. Be in it’.

Nel Smit, Taroona is a dedicated educational leader and mentor and is the Sustainability Coordinator at Huonville High School where she manages the Future Energy Team that won the 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize. She has taken state-wide roles in environmental education in the last 30 years, focusing last year on promoting energy literacy through STEM at Huonville High and Energy Wise, a program promoting energy literacy for secondary schools. As Education Coordinator with Greening Australia, she initiated school and community education events including Big Biodiversity Days Out and Biodiversity and Geography Symposiums. Nel won the 2018 Tasmanian STEM Teacher of the Year award.